When our family has the opportunity to go to an Asian restaurant that serves a traditional ginger house salad, everyone wants to order one. It’s so basic and yet so refreshingly tasty: chilled bowl, crisp lettuce, and tangy dressing. YUM!
So, last week after we ate at Koi and everyone devoured their salad, I determined that I was going to make it at home this week. (I made it a couple of years ago and wasn’t sure that I ever got the dressing right.)
I looked online for some recipes for the dressing, found a few, and scribbled out a comparative chart to determine the recurring ingredients, and attempted to find which looked most like the restaurant. There was much variation in the recipes I found, but there were some constants: rice vinegar, ginger, carrots, onion, and oil. I tried to stick to ingredients that I thought were authentic, fresh, and healthy (therefore, no ketchup, mayo, or Sprite?! Which were found in a couple of versions.)
It takes about 5 minutes to make and costs about $2 for 6 salads, less than the price of one house ginger salad at a restaurant.
1 large or 2 small carrots, coarsely chopped
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 Tbsp. sugar or Agave nectar
½ tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Puree until smooth. (If you prefer the dressing to be thinner, add water.)
[Tweak proportions of ingredients to your liking. Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.]
Wash and coarsely chop a head of Iceberg lettuce, or lettuce of your choice, add grated carrots, thinly sliced radishes and anything else you want (I think cucumbers are a nice addition). Dress with ginger dressing right before eating.
Serve in chilled bowls for an extra cool, crisp touch.
Dave made a tray of Sushi, I made the salad, and it was in the fridge so that when everyone came home from their activities, dinner was ready to be eaten- no cooking or mealtime prep required.
This dressing can be a starting point if you want to get creative with salad toppings, making it a main dish salad, or keep it basic as a simple, tangy, side salad.